Not long ago, NBC floated the idea of bringing a Cruel Intentions series to television. The series was intended to serve as both a sequel and soft reboot of the franchise, set 15 years after the events of the film. Sarah Michelle Gellar was confirmed to reprise her character Kathryn Valmont, and director Roger Kumble even returned to write and direct the now dead pilot. But now, after several months of radio silence it appears the series is no longer moving forward at the network.
Had the series gone to air, it would have followed the adventures of Bash Casey (Taylor John Smith), the child of Stephen Valmont (Ryan Phillipe) and Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) from the original film. Witherspoon was not set to reprise her role, with Kate Levering stepping up to fill the part. Little is known about the plot itself, except that the young and ambitious Bash runs away to San Diego to find out more about his father’s past and runs into his power-hungry aunt Kathryn. The two were rumored to have a quasi-incestuous flirtation, mirroring the subplot from the original film.
According to TVLine, the reasoning behind the decision was simply due to an overcrowded schedule. While the pilot was well-received, there were simply too many shows on the network’s midseason roster. As a result, Cruel Intentions was dropped. So far, there is no word yet on whether or not the show has a chance of finding a second life on another network, or on a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu, but Sony Pictures TV is said to be shopping it around.
The network’s decision not to move forward with the series is surprising, given the success of other cult films of the ’90s that have been rebooted for television. Evil Dead, Teen Wolf, and Scream have all proved to be successes for their respective networks, proving that there’s a market out there for reboots drenched in nostalgia. Another network might prove to be a better home for a show as sexy and potentially taboo as Cruel Intentions might be than the somewhat family friendly NBC. Another network might be able to push the envelope and not have to downplay the more adult themes in the same way NBC would have.
Still, given the reception to the pilot, it’s a shame that we won’t get to see Gellar return to the small screen following the cancellation of The Crazy Ones. Hopefully, the series will either find a new home or Gellar will find a new role come pilot season 2017.
Screen Rant will bring you more information on the future of Cruel Intentions as it becomes available.